Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cedar Lake article in Creative Loafing

Emory dance alumna Blake Beckham, '01, wrote an article for this week's Creative Loafing about Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Click here to read the article.

Cedar Lake begins performances tonight at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, with subsequent concerts on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25 and 26. All performances are sold out, but the Arts at Emory Box Office is maintaining a waiting list (404-727-5050).

Also tonight there will be a pre-performance lecture at 7:00pm on American and Israeli dance. This lecture will be broadcast live from Israel in the Chace Upper Lobby in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Concert tickets are not required to attend this free lecture. Click here for the full lecture description.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Continuing with our series of Emory Dance Company student choreographers (see Feb. 12 for the intro), this week dance major Kaitlyn Pados describes her choreographic process.

At the beginning of the semester, I started to brainstorm ideas for my upcoming Emory Dance Company piece. I found, however, that entering my piece with an already established meaning was incredibly limiting for me. When I tried to choreograph, I immediately questioned every movement idea and took everything far too literally. Instead, I decided to restart my process from a different entry point. I created some movement material in the studio on which I wanted to base my work. I did not trouble myself with what this movement might “mean” to an audience, I was just attracted to the mood it generated as I performed it. Since teaching my six dancers this new phrase material and working through a month of rehearsals, we have discovered thematic elements which are allowing a potential meaning to emerge on its own.

My piece is now examining the line between dependence and independence. I am very drawn to fleeting interactions between the dancers, and finding where trust is built and tested in both physical and emotional senses. In rehearsals, I like to alter the timing and groupings of the dancers to explore how these components shape the relationships on stage. Currently, I am trying various music options to see how it affects the dancers and their performance. We are discovering that there is a fine line between feeding emotion to the audience via music and letting the movement speak for itself, the latter of which is my ultimate goal.

-Kaitlyn Pados

Monday, February 22, 2010

Staibdance Summer Intensive

My dance company, Staibdance, has an exciting opportunity to present a two-week summer intensive on the luscious Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy. During the two-week program, dancers at the intermediate to advanced levels will study Pilates, Ballet, Contemporary Jazz, Modern, and will learn repertory material for a public performance in the Historic Teatro Armida in Sorrento. The project is designed to be an annual event that will feature diverse faculty every year (hopefully I can lure my colleagues!) and will bring modern dance to a hungry audience in Italy. The intensive serves to unite dancers from the US and Italy, and will be a great opportunity to experience a new culture from the inside out. Jessica Moore and Judy Raggi-Moore (Italy natives), along with the gracious staff at The Grand Hotel Hermitage, the mayor of Sorrento, cultural dignitaries, and many others have put their time and energy into making this event a reality. If you are interested, please go to for more details and information on the program!

-George Staib, Senior Lecturer

Friday, February 19, 2010

Reflections on "The Dance Project"

On Tuesday, February 16, we posted a reflection by Greg Catellier on his recent collaboration with George Staib. George's thoughts on the collaborative concert follow.

The journey off campus for a collaborative concert proved to be memorable, exciting, and rewarding for me. Working with my colleague Greg Catellier was just as inspirational as ever and having his expertise to ease the transition into a new space was tremendously valuable. The Dance Project brought together so many new and exciting dancers under one roof. I met gifted choreographers, danced with lovely dancers, and explored new choreographic methods in my own work which became an incredible learning experience for me.

Greg and I have produced four concerts now and the excitement never gets stale, the discoveries are always fascinating, and the motivation to continue working gets stronger. This in a sense was a debut for my dance company, Staibdance, and I have to admit that this added to the excitement. I am lucky to have an ensemble of tireless, dedicated dancers who give so much of themselves. Having them with me every “step” of the way gave me the safety net I felt I needed, to make something that felt so risky, feel so liberating.

-George Staib

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Continuing with our series of Emory Dance Company student choreographers (see Feb. 12 for the intro), this week we hear from senior dance major Allie Bruehlman.

I am currently working with a cast of five dancers for my piece in the Emory Dance Company concert this spring. I originally envisioned this piece as a narrative about my relationships with a group of friends from my hometown. As the rehearsal process began, however, I quickly grew tired of attempting to adhere to and to portray such deep friendships in any sort of literal way. Instead, I began to work with the cast as merely a group of people. Since then, the piece has become more about the relationship possibilities between individuals within a group, about the joyous and all-encompassing energy that can be created when people come together.

Though the work is still in its beginning stages, I am already in awe of the raw vitality my cast delivers to the studio. The cast is extremely diverse in terms of movement affinities and training, and each dancer brings a unique personality into the rehearsal process. Thus, my most powerful creative impetus stems from the energy of my talented dancers. As the semester continues, I hope to delve into the seemingly endless challenges and possibilities of creating a cohesive group dynamic from such powerful individual forces.

-Allie Bruehlman

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Two Great Tastes

This week we'll post some reflections from Emory Dance faculty members Gregory Catellier and George Staib. In January, they presented a collaborative concert at 7 Stages Theater in Atlanta. Greg shares his thoughts on the collaboration below; look for George's blog post later the week.

Recently my colleague and friend George Staib and I presented our fourth collaboration, I, at 7 Stages in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. We each premiered three pieces. Simultaneously we produced I.C.E.: Independent Choreographers Exchange, a showcase of works by emerging and recently transplanted Atlanta choreographers. All in all, it was a successful endeavor.

The collaboration George and I enjoy is happily multifaceted. It does not center on our dance making processes, although we ask and give each other advice on choreographic predicaments. I also design the lighting for his work, another traditional collaboration.

I would claim that we collaborate more profoundly through the structure of our process leading to the performance. We share space (the theater), resources, and some dancers. We plan the show order, select stage settings, and choose the postcard and program design. We divide some of these tasks and trust each other to make the appropriate decisions. While they may seem mundane, it is these decisions and hundreds of others that craft the show.

I would also contend that the choosing of each other as partners constitutes a critical component of the collaboration. By sharing a performance with George, I assert that I admire his choreography and want my work to be seen with his. It is also significant that by placing our pieces next to each others, the dances change. This is the peanut butter and chocolate effect of our collaboration—two great tastes!

-Gregory Catellier

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Coconut and the Peach: Choreographic Inspiration

Each week for the next couple of months, Emory dance students choreographing work for the Emory Dance Company spring concert (April 22-24) will blog about their choreographic process and inspiration. First up is Sandra Chan, a junior in the Business School, who is also completing the requirements for a dance minor.

Coming from Hong Kong, I have experienced how different two cultures can be at Emory.

I got my inspiration for my choreography during the international panel at the Goizueta Business School last semester. Dominic Wang, a current MBA student from China, has an interesting and insightful observation: Americans are like peach, while Chinese are like coconut. Americans are very friendly to you, they will say hi whenever they see you, but it is very hard to penetrate their life in a deeper level, like the middle of a peach. Chinese always seem to be in closed groups that are hard to penetrate, as it is very hard to break the shell of a coconut to get the juice. But once you are in the group, you are extremely close to everyone else in the group.

Although this observation is a generalization of the two cultures that Dominic and I are familiar with, and people act so differently within the same culture, it is astonishing to find out how accurate this observation is. At the same time, I find a lot of similarities between a peach and a coconut. They are both fruits that are round in shape and juicy. I believe that we can apply the same logic looking at these two cultures. It really depends on the perspective(s) you have when you look into cultural issues. Through my choreography, I wish that my audience could have the experience to look at cultural issues from these two extremely dissimilar perspectives, and hopefully this experience will have an impact on their life.

-Sandra Chan

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Future of Arts Criticism Symposium at Emory, March 19-20

Registration is now open for an arts criticism symposium to be held at Emory on March 19-20, 2010. Details follow.

The Future of Arts Criticism and the Role of the Academy

Location: Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Dates: March 19-20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Keynote address by A.O. Scott, national film critic.

Saturday, March 20, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Morning: Panel featuring metro-Atlanta arts administrators, artists, journalists, and representatives of the academy

Afternoon: Lunch, table discussions, reporting from the tables, and determination of next steps

Friday - free reservations for Friday are required
Saturday - paid $15 registration required for Saturday (at door if space is available, $20)

To reserve for Friday or register for Saturday or for more information, go to:

To be a part of the conversation before and after the conference, please join our Lens on Atlanta Future of Arts Criticism Group at

We hope to see you in mid-March! Please write to if you have any questions about registration.

This event is presented by the Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts in partnership with Public Broadcasting Atlanta's AtlantaPlanit and Lens on Atlanta with additional support from Emory's Hightower Fund and the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cedar Lake Tickets Going Fast!

Photo by Paul B. Goode

The world-renowned Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet will have its Atlanta debut at Emory's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts later this month. They will be performing Ohad Naharin's Decadance 2007. Tickets are going fast, so get yours now! Performance dates are February 24-26 at 8:00 p.m. For tickets, please call the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404-727-5050 or click here.

The Friends of Dance Lecture Series will present a pre-performance lecture on American and Israeli Dance February 24 at 7:00 p.m. (free; tickets to performance not necessary). For more information, click here.